Cat burglars: Toyota Prius exhausts stolen in broad daylight

catalytic converter cat theft

Police have warned of targeted catalytic converter thefts, with the Toyota Prius being particularly vulnerable. The thieves are bold, targeting cars in broad daylight, as the Twitter video below shows.

Although this issue isn’t new, the latest warning comes from Hertfordshire Police. In the St Albans area alone, there have been a 21 recent incidents, with six in Welwyn, three in North Hertfordshire and one in Stevenage.


The thefts themselves are executed with the pace and precision of an F1 pit stop. Mere seconds pass while the car is jacked up and the exhaust is removed.

catalytic converter cat theft

The crime in the video took place in East London. But such thefts are on the rise across the UK, with more than 900 cases reported to police in 2018.

Why are catalytic converters being stolen?

catalytic converter cat theft

Catalytic converters are exhaust filters that contain precious metals, including gold and platinum. They can be worth hundreds of pounds.

Certain cars, such as the Prius, have them positioned in a way that’s easy to access – hence the rise in related crime.

One idea for closing the market to thieves is to ban difficult-to-trace cash transactions at scrap yards.

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